An analysis of the SC Decision in RBI Case
The Reserve Bank of India ('RBI') vide Circular - Prohibition on dealing in Virtual Currencies ('VCs') dated April 6, 2018 ('RBI Circular') ...
On Tuesday, the US Department of Justice has announced the seizure of US 3.6 billion in bitcoin. The bitcoin is related to the infamous 2016 hack of Korean exchange Bitfinex then valued at $72 million, it is the biggest bitcoin hack to date. Such high-profile attacks are often linked to stated sponsored actors from Russia, North Korea, or Eastern European Countries. The entire hack is now valued at $4.5 billion. It is unclear if the hackers have converted the remaining into fiat or laundered to other coins. The price of bitcoin appreciated from less than $600 in August 2016 to an all-time high above $US 60,000.
But can you guess the persons behind the hack? In all possibilities, you may end up wrong!
Tiktok Star. Yes, a short video platform rapper is accused by the US law enforcement agencies as a prime accused. Heather Morgan, 31, a Tiktok star, and her husband Ilya Lichtenstein, 34, were detained on charges of conspiring to launder 119,754 Bitcoin coming from the 2016 hack of Bitfinex, a cryptocurrency exchange operated by iFinex. The law enforcement agency gained access to 2000 virtual addresses by decrypting a file saved to Ilya’s cloud storage account, which had been obtained pursuant to a search warrant. Ilya is in the business of offering cloud storage solutions according to his Twitter profile.
According to the statement of facts submitted by the law enforcement agency, the couple moved the stolen funds in a series of small amounts, totaling thousands of transactions by adopting a process known as a peel chain technique, as opposed to moving the funds all at once or in larger chunks. In May 2021, blockchain intelligence agency Elliptic in a blog post said that the bitcoins from the wallets started moving.
— RSN (@puttinyadown) February 8, 2022
“In a futile effort to maintain digital anonymity, the defendants laundered stolen funds through a labyrinth of cryptocurrency transactions. Thanks to the meticulous work of law enforcement, the department once again showed how it can and will follow the money, no matter what form it takes,” the US Department of Justice said in a press statement soon after the indictment. According to court documents, Lichtenstein and Morgan allegedly conspired to launder the proceeds of 119,754 bitcoin that were stolen from Bitfinex’s platform after a hacker breached Bitfinex’s systems and initiated more than 2,000 unauthorized transactions.
But what has caught the attention of the netizen is the lifestyle of Heather Morgan. Heather made rap videos on YouTube, TikTok under the name Razzlekhan. She also gave speeches on growing businesses and called herself a ‘serial entrepreneur, 'crocodile of wall street,’ and an ‘angel investor’. She described her art as ‘surreal’, her genre as ‘horror-comedy, with a splash of weird allure’.
— Kevin Collier (@kevincollier) February 8, 2022
Morgan is a contributor at Inc. and Forbes, and her author profile says that she is an international economist, serial entrepreneur, and investor in B2B software companies. “She is an expert in persuasion, social engineering, and game theory.”
I had a hardest time learn basics of python on udemy while this is the person who hacked 4bn from Bitfinex.
Im literally fucking over this life https://t.co/GLIaTH5l4i
— Adam (@abetrade) February 8, 2022
The couple had been granted bail by a judge in lower Manhattan Tuesday night, after being arrested at 7 a.m. in New York. But the government soon appealed the decision and temporarily halted the release while the bail decision is reviewed. The two are charged with offences that carry up to 20 years in prison.
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